The popular trend toward carefully sealing homes against air leaks has improved energy efficiency, but it comes at a price. Tightly sealed homes often lack adequate ventilation and therefore have very poor indoor air quality. Pollutants remain trapped in the home, circulating continuously in the air. You can battle some of these pollutants with an efficient home air cleaner.
HEPA Air Filters
HEPA air filters, used in hospitals and clean rooms, are one of the most efficient options on the market. HEPA filters have a fine mesh that captures extremely small particles with an 87 to 99 percent efficiency rate on the first pass. In the home, this type of air cleaner is best used in a portable device. Most residential HVAC units are not designed for use with a HEPA air filter.
Electrostatic Air Cleaners
Electrostatic air cleaners charge particles in the air purifier with static electricity. These charged particles then stick to the inside of the unit. The filtration system is washable so there’s no need to replace a disposable filter. They’re 60 to 80 percent effective on the first pass.
Unfortunately, some electrostatic air cleaners can produce ozone. When ozone interacts with indoor chemicals, ultrafine particles are released. Ozone is a lung irritant and ultrafine particles may have adverse health effects. Look for an air cleaner that doesn’t produce ozone.
Gas-Phase Air Cleaners
Gas-phase air cleaners use a sorbent material like activated carbon to absorb the pollutants in the air. These air cleaners trap only gas-phase pollutants and will not trap particles or carbon monoxide. Gas-phase filters are best employed in conjunction with a standard air filter that will handle particulate air pollution.
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, you should install an efficient air filter in your HVAC system at a bare minimum. Independent of a separate air cleaner, a filter with a MERV rating between 7 and 13 can greatly improve the air quality in your home.
For more information on improving indoor air quality in your southwestern Oklahoma home with an air cleaner, contact us at Davis Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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